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Communication Break-Down

I've lost my mobile phone. Again.

I had it for four years, after loosing the previous one somewhere in the Congolese jungle. This time, I lost it on a Belgian train, or possibly on the bus. Doesn't matter, there's more chance of me finding back the old one in the rainforests of the Congo after four years.

So if I don't call you, or answer your call, this time I've got a good excuse.

Missing In Action



I've lost my cap! My favourite one, with the logo of our beautiful city:


I left it on the bus this morning. I noticed as soon as I got off, but the bus driver closed the doors and refused to re-open them. So I saw the bus driving off in the dark, rainy morning, with my cap still on it.


Damn Damn Damn

I bought a magazine and I left it on the train.

Well, the railroad company can add it to my large collection of forgotten umbrellas.

Not Again

I left my umbrella on the train yesterday morning. Again. It was a pretty crappy umbrella, it was one of those compact models that shoot up and open when you push a button. But mine would open by itself, at random moments. This is especially annoying because I carry it attached to my rucksack, between the pack itself and my back. This had huge potential for comedy, as it would open invariably when I would cross a corridor or stand in the elevator. Suddenly the handle would should out and catch passers-by or bystanders.

Of course, ever since I've lost it, it's been raining every time I go out. And the weatherman said it's going to rain all week. And the week after too, probably. Unless I buy me a new umbrella quickly, Belgium will drown and we'll have mudslides and stuff like on Madeira.

Forget About Senility (Again)

Sunday was the first time we could work a full day in our brand new vintage villa. I dressed for the occasion, which meant a pair of shorts that are at least 16 years old and a T-shirt that got a very negative review in the 1987 Moth’s Michelin Guide. Yes, it was going to be a long hot day.

Wearing those shorts gave a bit of a logistical problem, because when I put my mobile, my keys and my wallet in my pockets, they tended to slid down to my ankles. I was afraid to damage the good relations we have so far with our neighbours at both sides, so when we arrived I quickly decided to empty my pockets. I put my keys and my cell phone on the chimney in the kitchen, and I put my wallet… I put my wallet… somewhere…


We started removing the wall paper in the living room, which was not easy but by noon it was almost completely finished. Then we started on the dining room, where we were faced with a very experimental way of decorating a room. Apparently, the previous owners had put rubber matting against the wall. Because the stuff must have weighed considerably, the used the same glue that NASA uses to stick the heat resistant tiles on the bottom of the Space Shuttle. However, the rubber mats weren’t glued directly on the wall, our predecessors put up a triplex wall that wasn’t too difficult to remove. My wife released the emotional rage she had accumulated over the past couple of months and I hope it wasn’t me that has been nagging her because that room was finished in the blink of an eye.

However, getting back to our main subject, sometime during that process my stuff was moved to another location, and then moved again.


So after a hard day’s work, concluded by an excellent T-bone steak of colossal proportions on the barbecue, I gather my stuff to return home. And for the life of me, I couldn’t remember where I had put my wallet. I searched everywhere and then started to wonder if I’d taken it there in the first place. Probably not, was my conclusion. It must be at home.

When we returned, there was no wallet to be found. Then I started to get really worried. Did I leave it with my parents-in-law the day before? No, of course not because when we returned I distinctly remembered putting it on the dashboard. Yikes! Did I leave it in the car? No, there was no trace of burglary this morning.

I jumped into the car and drove back to the new house, with much chagrin. I may have killed the odd pedestrian and someone’s dearly missed pet underway, I don’t know. But a very thorough search there didn’t produce the damn wallet either. Now I really broke into a sweat, my train pass was in my wallet and without it I couldn’t go to work the next morning and I had to take a job interview at 10 and send a very extremely important letter that was already urgently overdue…

When I came home again (score: one cyclist, an old lady in a wheel chair and half a busload of Japanese tourists following their guide’s red umbrella), I admitted defeat to my wife. On which she promptly jumped out of the sofa, stepped to the sports bag with our spare clothes and produced the missing wallet.


I’d searched that bag three times. In my defence: the inside of it is black, as is my wallet. When she gave it to me I remembered I put my wallet in there so it wouldn’t get lost in the house. I also remembered thinking I mustn’t forget that I put it in there.

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